SPECIAL PAMPHLET No. 67 > WAR-TIME ^k PRODUCTION AGRICULTURAL SUPPLIES BOARD OTTAWA CANADA niniiimniniiiiiiia PREVENTION OF DISEASE EN SHEEP (Including Control of Internal and External Parasites) Canadian sheep-breeders are in the fortunate position of not having to contend with many of the infectious diseases which frequently scourge flocks in other parts of the world. In Eastern Canada the major problems are the diseases due to internal parasites, and pregnancy disease. In range sheep in the Western Provinces, goitre, haemorrhagic septicaemia (shipping fever), con- tagious ecthyma (sore-mouth), and intestinal parasites may cause losses. Miscellaneous Conditions Mineral Deficiency (including goitre). — In most districts a mineral mixture as a supplement to other feed is necessary for maximum growth and development, and this can usually be prepared so that it is adequate for the prevention of goitre in lambs. However, in those regions where goitre is pre- valent, pregnant ewes should be given one grain of potassium iodide per animal daily in the drinking water. A recommended mineral mixture for sheep is: — Bonemeal or bone char. Salt Potassium iodide 67 lb. 33 lb. 3 oz. Mix the first two ingredients, then dissolve the iodide in water and sprinkle it over the mixture. Leave it in front of the animals at all times. If bonemeal is unobtainable because of war needs, a commercial mixture as prepared for dairy cattle can be used. If monocalcium phosphate can be bought with a guarantee of freedom from harmful amounts of fluorine, the following mixture can be prepared in the manner described above. Monocalcium phosphate Ground limestone Salt Potassium iodide 15 lb. 51 lb. 34 lb. 3 oz. There is suggestive evidence that a deficiency of copper may cause a weakness of lambs colloquially known as " sway-back ". In districts where this occurs the addition of four ounces of powdered copper sulphate well mixed into Published by Authority of Honourable J. G. Gardiner,- Minister of Agriculture. Ottawa. 1942. 50M— 6303— 10 :42 630.4 C212 WPS SP the other ingredients previously mentioned might be beneficial. In districts such as parts of Alberta where cobalt is deficient, local recommendations per- taining to it should be followed. Pregnancy Disease.— This is a continual source of loss to some sheen breeders, and m certain years it has caused the deaths of as many as ten per cent of the ewes in certain purebred flocks on rich diets. The affected animals show symptoms usually about three weeks before lambing time; they are reluctant to move even when approached, and are partly blind. The disease progresses and it the lambs are not born within two or three davs the ewes will die The livers of dead ewes are pale yellow in colour, which is due to an excess of' fat The best preventive is a balanced diet for pregnant ewes, complete with adequate roughage, accompanied by plenty of exercise. When animals show signs ol the disease the owner should immediately call a veterinarian, who can frequently offset the serious effects of this disease by proper treatment. Hemorrhagic Septicaemia (Shipping Fever).— This disease does not occur frequently under farm conditions, since it requires some weakening influence, such as hunger, fatigue, or cold, and particularly exposure during shipping. Under such conditions, microbes which live harmlessly in the luncs of sheep suddenly become capable of causing disease. The symptoms are those of a severe pneumonia and appear within a week following exposure- some animals die within 24 hours. The affected animals cough and sneeze and there 18 a yellowish discharge from the nose and eyes. The temperature is high and there is complete lack of appetite. **' Animals sent to feed-lots, to shows, or those bought through a public market are most often affected. In the case of an outbreak, the best means of control is prompt separation of sick animals and great care in making them comfortable m a well-bedded and well-ventilated building. Noses and eyes should be kept clean with a solution of boracic acid. A veterinarian should be called as «oon as possible, if serious loss is to be prevented. Vaccination, bv a veterinarian of show or breeding animals which have to be shipped bv truck or rail is a >'ood preventive measure; this must be done at least 12 davs before expected exposure During shipping, animals should be well fed and not 'over-crowded Extremes of temperature are particularly dangerous and if possible should be avoided. Contagious Ecthyma (Sore Mouth).- This disease sometimes breaks out in range flocks and in feeding lots. Small blisters appear on the lips and gums of infected animals, and when these burst the disease will spread to the tongue and over the entire surface of the lips and nose. In severe cases the infection may spread to the stomach and lungs. As soon a s the disease appears, all affected animals should be isolated The scabs and blisters should be removed with a cloth soaked in a solution of boracic acid, and an antiseptic ointment should then be applied. Easily consumed concentrates and fresh water must be provided. When new stock is to be bought, the animals should be examined carefully belore purchase; further, they should be quarantined for several davs to avoid introducing the infection into the existing flock. Mastitis (Inflammation of the Udder).— The condition is not uncommon in the springtime shortly alter lambing. The udder becomes swollen hot and red m colour; the affected ewe usually walks with straddled hind-legs ' and doea not welcome the suckling of Iambs. A careful watch must be kept for this condition and affected animals and their lambs should be promptly isolated Bottle-feed the ambs for a few days on cow's milk. Milk out the udder at frequent intervals and apply cloths soaked in hot water several times daily N hen tins is not practicable, employ thorough massage, using oil va«eline or lard as a lubricant. It is essential to keep up the circulation ol blood in the udder; otherwise gangrene ("Blue-bag") will occur, and this can be treated only by surgical removal of the udder. Some Other Conditions "Stiff-lamb Disease ".—Insanitary conditions are conducive to lamb dysenterv and arthritis. When born on manure piles instead of on clean straw, lambs are exposed to infection. The lamb is even more seriously exposed if the navel cord is not swabbed with iodine, or if a dirty knife and no antiseptic is used at docking and castrating time. Keep the instruments in a solution of disinfectant, and use tincture of iodine freely. Plant Poisoning.— From time to time losses are caused by plant poisoning. Death camas appears to account for the majority of poisonings in the West and the water hemlock in Eastern Canada. There arc other poisonous plants, too numerous to be listed here. The chief reason for plant poisoning in sheep is lack of grass. It sheep are turned out in the springtime before there is an adequate growth, they will hunt for any available green feed. Keep them in, or supply supplementary feed until the growth of grass is well advanced. In times of drought a similar danger exists, and similar preventive measures become necessary. The destruction of poisonous plants by hand pulling is a practicable and effective control measure on most farms. Diseases Caused By Internal Parasites Regions East of Manitoba.— In the Eastern Provinces many worm parasites are encountered in sheep. However, research work has been successful in classifying the parasitic diseases of most importance, and an efficient system of control has been devised. Nodular Disease.— This is caused by young worms picked up with the grass from contaminated pastures. The worms enter the walls of the sheep's intestines, where nodules or knots are formed. When present in great numbers, these cause serious interference with health and may ruin many of the flocks in Eastern The eggs and young worms on the contaminated pasture lands are destroyed by the long winter frost. In the intestines of the sheep, however, the nodular worms develop to maturity during winter months and begin laying their eggs, which pass out and again contaminate pastures when the sheep are turned out in the spring. To prevent this recurrence and thereby protect the lambs from developing nodular disease, it is necessary to destroy the egg-laying worm in the adult sheep before the animals reach the pasture in the spring. Stomach Worm Disease.— This occurs in mid-summer, chiefly in lambs that become infected with 1,000 or more twisted-wire worms. The young worms are picked up from the grass in the same way as are the nodular worms. Most, but probably not all, of the eggs and worms on the pastures are destroyed by the winter freezing. Black Scours.— This trouble occurs in its most pronounced form among flocks where the acreage of pasture is limited and when pastures become dry and unnutritious in the autumn. It is caused directly by many thousands of almost invisible worms in the intestine and sometimes by a complicating hook- worm infection. Like the nodular and stomach worms, these parasites are picked up from contaminated grass. Some of the eggs and young worms are able to survive through the winter months, and consequently the pasture may be lightly infected in the spring-time. Control Based on the fact that the winter months have cleansed the pastures of nodular worm infection and have also reduced stomach worm infection to an almost negligible level, a highly effective medicinal treatment of breeding stock uotects the lands from contamination in the spring. A drug known as pheno- thiazine is used for this purpose, and a compound tablet has been developed m Canada and made available to all sheep owners. The system of control is, briefly, as follows: — 1. Treat all the adult animals in the flock with phenothiazine tablet* either sometime between the first of February and one month before lambing, or, preferably, from four or more davs after lambing to 24 hours before the flock is turned on to summer pastures. Do not treat pregnant ewes nearer than one month before lambing. 2. Although this treatment usually prevents the occurrence of stomach worms as well as preventing nodular disease of lambs, watch for signs ot the stomach worm in July, August and early September. Infected Jambs may be fat, but they show pale eye membranes and move more slowly. When such signs appear, all the lambs should receive a treatment such as a drench of bluestone and nicotine (See page 7) capsules of tetrachlorethylene, a small dose of phenothiazine, or any other recognized stomach-worm remedy. Repeat in one month if necessary. 3. Symptoms of diarrhoea in the autumn months are advance signs of future unthnftiness. Affected animals should be treated with pheno- thiazine, and if the grass is dry and sparse, supplementary feed should be provided. Instructions for Using Phenothiazine Tablets Phenothiazine tablets are obtainable through qualified veterinarians throughout Canada; also they may be obtained from the following- Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Ltd., Toronto, and Weston, Ontario, Lennoxville Ouebec or Regina, Sask.; Wool Growers Association in Kamloops, B.C., Leth- bndge, Calgary, Lacombe, Edmonton, Hanna and Vermilion, Alta., and Maple Creek Sask.; Canadian Livestock Co-operative, Moncton, N.B • and the Canadian Livestock Marketing Board, Prince Edward Island Certain definite rules and procedures should be followed when giving this treatment. ° B Winter or Spring Treatment Treat all adult animals, including the ram. The number of tablets to be given depends upon the weight of the sheep, as follows: fe ( ,l\ H P to , 100 „ Ib ' 3 com P° un d tablets (12^ grams each) (o) Over 100 lb, 4 compound tablets (12^ grams each). 3 . Do not reduce the number of tablets recommended, particularly in flocks m which the nodular worm is prevalent. Summer and Autumn Treatments 4. Flocks subject to diarrhoea or scouring in the autumn should be treated in September or at the first sign of diarrhoea in young animals (a) Grow-n Animals, 3 compound tablets (12^ grams each) ib) Lambs, 2 compound tablets (12£ grams each). 5. For stomach worms in summer, give 1 to 2 tablets. 1. 2. 4. 5. *5 How to Administer the Treatment nlnv3l he i™ atm Tu wiH be Safely and effici ently given if a veterinarian is era- W™, '+• , ^serywes of a veterinarian are not available, the following instructions should be closely followed:— 1 • Pen the sheep quietly and securely for treatment. 2. Do not fast sheep before or after dosing. 3 . If treatment is given just prior to turning the animals to summer pasture, hold the flock for at least 24 hours to give the drug a chance to act, alter which there is no danger of contaminating the summer pasture. Have an assistant hold the sheep between his legs in such a way that the neck, not the shoulders, is between the knees. Avoid slippery floors, and place the sheep s hind-quarters in a corner against the wall The main object is to prevent the animal from sitting down, from moving the body from side to side, or from swinging its head sideways Use a mouth spreader, with a spread of about 2| inches to 2\ inches, to hold the mouth open. Administer the tablet when the animal is not struggling violently. The person giving the tablets opens the animal's mouth and inserts the mouth spreader so that the tongue is held orward underneath the lower bar of the spreader. Holding the tablet between the thumb and the first two fingers, the tablet is then brought 2' do ?, to the root of the tongue by the fingers, where it is released and pushed over the hump " of the tongue by the centre finger. To ass st swallowing, the spreader is quickly taken out of the mouth and the assistant releases the pressure from the sides of the head and neck so that the animal can lower its head. The operation is repeated carefully for each tablet. Important^ tablets can be given to a sheep by an experienced doser in 30 seconds. ;„* JX 0t f:~ Careless ° r inex Pert dosing may result in the accidental ntroduction o a tablet into the larynx, or windpipe; in such a case, the sheep should be given a drench of water and should be shaken with its head down. Always keep handy a drenching bottle filled with water Each person usually develops his own method of administering tablets. One substitute for the use of the fingers is to employ a balling gun made of a short piece of rubber hose pipe i" inside diameter with a simple wooden plunger. Precautions h«« SS^"? 6 haS b , ee u, USWl , for many tll( '^nds of sheep in Canada and has proved to be remarkably safe and efficient for general use. However in common with all drugs, it must not be used promiscuously; and when it has fir* t rfoS? ?o ef r ° n M C 1 ain R ° C \ h " b0ttCr t0 trcat two or three animal nrst in order to be sure that no peculiar conditions are present and that the mechanical part of the dosing can be done easily. Do- not treat pregnant ewes nearer than one' month to lambing. Discoloration of Wool rlnv T !'f C f ""r -° f treate i aniraal8 contains large amounts of a red stain for four days after dosing. In the case of ewes that are not shorn, if precautions are not taken a part of the fleece may be permanently stained. The flock should be kept in a well-bedded pen or yard. Avoid bare floors or yards with a heavy clay or otherwise impervious surface. If it can be arranged to have the £n J T an ? hcn tre u t l d 24 'T 1 " 8 before bei "g turned t0 summer pasture! danger of wool steins will be avoided. The young lambs are likely to become stained with urine in various degrees, depending upon how they nurse. Stains on lambs are not serious, as they will grow out and will not be noticeable by midsummer. Western Canada From Manitoba to the Pacific Coast there is no nodular disease, and .stomach worm disease is not common. However, there are two types of diseases caused by worm parasite? that are of importance. One is a form of diarrhoea very similar to the "black scours" of the East; the other is a diarrhoea which chiefly affects yearlings in the late winter and early spring. As the infective forms of these parasites on the grass-lands are not completely destroyed during the winter months, the eastern system of prevention of pasture contamination as described on pages 4 and 5, does, not produce the same spectacular results. However, it is certain that a spring treatment of adult animals with phenothiazine, in somewhat reduced doses, is of definite value in reducing hazards of worm infections. Both forms of diarrhoea that are encountered in the West as a result of worm infections will respond to treatment with phenothiazine. As the medicinal treatment of large range flocks is not a simple matter, the owner must use good judgment and should obtain professional advice. Other Worm Parasites. — The phenothiazine tablets mentioned are not effective against lungworms, tapeworms and liver flukes. Lungworms appear to cause disease only when other more serious troubles exist; fortunately the treatment recommended, together with good flock management, appears to make sheep resistant to this infection. Tapeworms are commonly blamed for many ills, but research has shown that such ills are actually caused by other parasites, particularly stomach worms and " black scour " worms. The copper sulphate and nicotine sulphate drench, however, removes many tapeworms. Liver flukes occur only in very small areas on the west coast and in Quebec and arc of little importance to sheep in Canada. In these small areas special treatments can be recommended. Insect Pests Blow-flies (Screw-worm Flies). — These insects, although not a major pest in Canada, do cause trouble in some regions. They deposit eggs in wounds or on soiled wool, and maggots which hatch invade the skin and underlying flesh. From late April to June is the worst period for infestation in British Columbia. The flies ordinarily breed in carrion; thus carcasses should be buried or burned whenever found. When the flies are prevalent, the flock should be shorn early and clip wounds should be dressed with an antiseptic. Scouring animals should i>c properly treated for worm parasites and the soiled wool clipped away. A formula used in South Africa for dressing maggot-infested wounds is a mixture of cottonseed oil, 45 parts (by measure, not weight), benzine. 40 parts, oil of pine tar, 10 parts, and carbolic acid, 5 parts. This tends to prevent further attacks as well as killing the maggots. In Australia a mixture of 6 parts creosote, 20 parts turpentine, and 40 parts olive or raw linseed oil is used. If desired, plain benzine can be used to kill the maggots, but a fly repellent should then be applied to the wounds. The Nostril Fly. — This is an insect pest of some importance in all parts of Cajiada. The flies are related to the warble fly of cattle; they arc active during the summer months, when they deposit young grubs in the nostrils of sheep. These grubs craw] up into the sinuses, where they grow during the winter. They are present in about 90 per cent of all adult sheep and, unless in large numbers, do not cause trouble other than a discharge from the nose. Deaths attributed to this parasite are usually found to be due to other diseases, the causes of which are less easily seen by the sheep-owner. Nevertheless, in heavy infestations peculiar nervous symptoms are sometimes seen and losses may occur. In addition, the flies can be a continual source of irritation to the sheep during late summer, and some protection should be provided. Destruction of the grubs in the head is difficult, but some protection from fly attacks can be given to the flocks. The old method of smearing the noses of sheep with pine tar is partially effective; a way of inducing the sheep to renew the repellent is to bore holes into logs or troughs, fill with salt, and smear the edges with tar. A dark shelter, such as an old barn with the entrance darkened by sacking, is a good protection which is welcomed by sheep; on large ranges this can be replaced by brush shelters. A furrow ploughed in a pasture will be used by the sheep as a protection, although it is not as effective as a dark shelter. Keds and Lice. — The sheep ked (commonly but incorrectly named the " sheep tick ") is a common parasite wherever sheep are raised. This insect sucks blood and when present in large numbers causes unrest and consequent unthriftiness. It also causes breakages in the wool fibres and is a cause of soiled wool and losses from low grading. The biting louse is also a common cause of torment, with loss of flesh wool. The lice are very small and are not so readily seen by the owner. In order to prevent losses from these external parasites, all flocks should be dipped. In Eastern Canada, July and August are good months for dipping. or in the case of heavily infested lambs, as soon as the weather is warm enough. A second dipping may be necessary when heavy infestations are present; this should be about two weeks after the first. It is dangerous to dip sheep during cold weather, and when it is necessary to control these parasites during the late autumn or the winter a dry powder should be used. This is not as effective as dipping but will alleviate severe infestations. There are many commercial dips on the market, and those with a Pest Control Products Act registration number are reliable. The manufacturer's instructions, particularly in regard to amounts to be used, must be followed exactly. Handle the sheep gently and be particularly careful with rams and young bucks. Do not mix dipped and undipped sheep. The "Cunic" Drench for Stomach Worms The following treatment is one that, has been used for several years in many parts of the world. Its value in controlling the stomach worm has been well proved and, because the system of prevention through the use of pheno- thiazine tablets may not be possible under all conditions, the use of the drench is still to be recommended. Directions for Preparing the Solution Ingredients Large 20 sheep Flocks or 1 Crystals of Copper Sulphate (Bluestone) 3 oz. f oz. 40 per cent Nicotine Sulphate 2 fluid oz. i fluid oz. Soft (or rain) water 1 Imp. gallon 1 Imp. quart 8 Be sure that the Copper Sulphate crystals are clear and blue; discard whitened crystals. Heat a quantity of the water to dissolve the bluestone, in a vessel that is not bare metal, then add water up to full quantity. This solution will keep indefinitely in a glass, enamel or earthenware container, but it is better to add the 40 per cent nicotine sulphate only when it is about to be used. The Doses Fluid Ounces Adult Sheep 2 Well-grown lambs 1 Small lambs %-$ No fasting before or after treatment is necessary, but it is better to keep the animals away from water for a few hours, after the dosing. For weak animals the dose should be reduced rather than increased. Method of Dosing A suitable drenching bottle should be prepared so that the correct dose can be quickly and accurately measured into it. The sheep should be brought quietly into a small enclosure and the operator should dose each one by holding the head of the animal between his knees, thereby restraining it but not raising the head too high. A full half minute is needed for each animal; a strong flow of the liquid might cause some of it to enter the lungs, with serious results. Do not treat pregnant ewes that are within one month of lambing time. Do not treat lambs younger than six weeks. Sheep must always be handled gently. Prepared by Science Service — Dominion Department of Agriculture. This pamphlet replaces the following pamphlets in the Wartime Production Series : No. 13 Control of the Sheep Ked. No. 44 The Prevention of Losses in Sheep Flocks. No. 51 Control of Certain Parasitic Worms in Sheep. Ottawa: Printed by Edmond Cviutier. Printer to the Kine's Most Excellent Majesty. 1942.